Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hey, Maker! 8 Questions with Kristin of 622 press

Welcome to Hey, Maker! our (sometimes) weekly feature showcasing the awesome artisans we carry at Apartment 528. Follow along for Q+As, house and studio tours, and instagram takeovers. 

This week we're getting to know Kristin of 622 Press. When she's not making paper flowers or getting her hands dirty forming concrete decor, the multi-talented artist creates bold letterpress cards and colorful embroidered hoops out of her Bermuda studio. Shop 622 press at our Chicago storefront with select pieces available online at apt528.com in JulyBrowse our home & studio with Kristin and follow along as she takes over our instagram.


   === 622 Press Apartment Takeover on instagram
   === 622 Press home & studio tour

All photos by Adrian Cunningham

Let's start with a real thinker. If you could only watch one movie and/or TV show for the rest of your life, what would it/they be?

Is it too much of a cliche to say Sex and the City? It's either that or Bones—those are really the only shows I watch on repeat. I do get made fun of for listening to Dave Matthews Band ALL. THE. TIME! I won't ever get sick of their music, especially live shows. 

Your work is so colorful! Is your house the same? What's your favorite room and why? 

It is actually! The space around me has such an influence on my work and mood and I've always been into decor. In past homes, I've been a bit strict with myself, limiting each room to neutrals (I love grey walls!) and a pop of just one or two accent colors. Our house now has white walls and light floors, so it feels right to have a lot of color in the decor. I definitely have my favorite hues—robin's egg, chartreuse, orange, mustard, hot pink—and that just sort of naturally creates the color scheme of our home, with dark wood and navy to tamp down the crazy a little :) I love it!

It's taken me quite a while to really make this house feel like home, as moving across an ocean limits how much you can bring, and everything on-island is so expensive! The only room that was fully moved into for the first year was my studio, so of course that's my favorite! It gets so much natural light, it's really an ideal work space. But we just rearranged and got a few new things for our dining/living room area, so that's my favorite now!
You left Wisconsin and moved to Bermuda almost two years ago which means your life is basically a Beach Boys song! Is it all sunning on the beach and surfing? What was the hardest adjustment you had to make? 

I wish! Actually the first thing people usually say when I go back to Wisconsin is "You're not very tan!" Living here is pretty amazing, but it's not vacation, so I still have to work, clean the house, all that normal stuff! But I certainly can't complain—my office has an ocean view! 

There were a lot of adjustments, but I think the most difficult one for me was just getting used to the pace of life here. Things move slower, any task takes twice as long to get done, everyone is perpetually late—island time is a real thing!

You do a little of everything - letterpress, embroidery, textiles, crochet, paper flowers. Which medium is your favorite?

Letterpress and design are my first creative loves, so of course those are my favorite! The variety of mediums really keeps my creativity flowing—solutions for a digital design piece will often come while I'm printing, or if I'm having a hard time with something on the press, I take a break to embroider and come back to it later and it usually works out. 

Is there a skill you'd still like to learn?

Always! I've been practicing pointed pen calligraphy for the better part of a year, and I'm finally getting close to good enough to offer addressing services for wedding clients. I'm not sure what I'll tackle after that, but I'm always learning something new! 

I feel like having to come up with clever new sayings and designs for each greeting card would be tough. How do you keep the ideas flowing? Have you ever put a card out there and then looked back later thinking "that was so lame"? (ALL of mine would be horrible!)

Ha! That is actually the hardest part! I keep a running list of phrases I think would make good cards, and now that I've been doing this for a few years, I force myself to wait a few weeks before printing because there have definitely been some that I now think were pretty dumb! I'm also lucky to have some super funny friends who I'm always asking "Can I put that on a card?" —they always say yes, probably because they know that means free cards!

Has Bermuda, its culture, and people influenced your work over the past couple of years?

My business is still U.S.-based, so I haven't created any specifically Bermuda themed work, but I do think living here and working in a sun-filled studio has made my work brighter and more colorful. The move allowed me to take my business full time, so the biggest change has simply been in the amount of work I've been able to produce! I have more stock than I've ever had before and have been able to take on some truly awesome custom projects in the last year or so.  

What's next for 622press? What's inspiring you at the moment?

As far as letterpress work goes, the most exciting thing right now is that I switched printing plate vendors and have been working on designing several new lines! I had been holding off on a lot of new designs until I made the switch, so the last few months have been really fun. Stay tuned for lots of fresh new cards!


Thanks for following along, and thanks to Kristin for letting us pick her brain! We'll be back soon with more tours & Q+As. Till then, don't forget to check out some of our other maker features:

   >>> SHOP apt528.com

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